PEARL – The road to a college education and a rewarding career doesn’t always resemble a straight line, Hinds Community College graduates were told just before receiving their hard-earned credentials.
Not giving up in the face of adversity is key, speakers said in ceremonies Friday.
“Some of you took the road less traveled to get here today,” said state Sen. Josh Harkins, of Flowood. “You may not be a ‘traditional’ college graduate, but you made the commitment to improve your life and the life of your family. That takes a level of commitment and determination not possessed by many.”
Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, asked graduates to persist in their studies and pursue careers for which they are most passionate.
“Without the financial means for a traditional educational pathway, I forged my own road in the best way I could – attending college full-time and working as a janitor late in the afternoons and evenings,” Mayfield said. “And have a passion for what it is that you do.”
Over five ceremonies May 10, 11, and 13, Hinds awarded 1,839 degrees and certificates to 1,319 people, with some people receiving multiple credentials in academic, career or technical programs. This is the largest number of credentials Hinds has ever awarded for one graduation season.
Over the academic year including summer 2017 and fall 2017 ceremonies, the college will have awarded more than 3,900 credentials, a 12 percent increase over last year and an 85 percent increase over five years ago.
Of the 1,319 spring graduates, 265 achieved cum laude, 3.2 to 3.59 grade point average; 204 achieved magna cum laude, 3.6 to 3.99 GPA and 137 achieved summa cum laude, 4.0 grade point average. Nearly 900 are expected to participate in one of the five ceremonies.
Tom Joyner, a nationally syndicated radio and television show host, spoke to graduates at the Utica Campus during a ceremony Sunday.
Danny Barrett Jr. is a 19-year journalist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. Barrett covered county government and business at The Vicksburg Post for 10 years and came to Hinds Community College in 2015.